by Suitbert Ertel and Kenneth Irving
with a Foreword by Jim Lippard

ISBN 1 871 989 15 9
Price £15.50
Urania Trust, 1996

Contents of TME
Review by H.J. Eysenck
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Purchase Tenacious Mars Effect

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This book illustrates an interesting convergence of viewpoints from science, astrology and modern skepticism, all focused on the so-called “Mars effect controversy” which pitted the late Michel Gauquelin (and at times his former wife and research partner Françoise Gauquelin) against three different skeptic groups, one in Belgium, one in the U.S. and one in France. The core of the book, and the title piece, is a thorough analysis by Ertel (a professor of psychology at the University of Göttingen) of the tests of Gauquelin’s Mars effect for sports champions done by each of these three groups in the period from 1967 through 1996. Kenneth Irving supplies an understandable history and background of Gauquelin’s work (the Mars effect for sports champions is only one of several findings involving five different planets and eleven different professions) and the controversy itself. In addition to the foreword, Lippard (a prominent U.S. skeptic) also allowed the authors to include an abridged version of his extensive Mars effect chronology as further background. Ertel sees the Gauquelin planetary effects as evidence of a new and largely unexplored scientific domain; Irving sees it as evidence for some of the fundamental precepts of astrology, though what this might imply for astrology itself is far from clear. The foreword writer, Lippard, suspends judgment on the Mars effect itself, but has a strong interest in the lessons the controversy holds for organized skepticism.